When was the first fossil of a dinosaur found and who found it?
It is not known exactly when the first dinosaur fossil was found by humans.
It is possible that hunter Indians encountered fossils that had been exposed to weather and wind in dry areas of North America, the so-called Badlands, where paleontologists have made many important findings since the late 1800s.
It is also possible that Chinese people have collected dinosaur fossils and sold them like dragon teeth and dragon nuts, just like the tradition of collecting much younger fossils of extinct mammals.
The oldest dinosaur fossil found
The oldest known dinosaur fossil was featured in a book of 1676 about Oxfordshire’s natural history, but it gives us no idea about the exact discovery date.
In his book, Robert Plot described a large bone, which had been found in a quarry. He mentioned that it could be originated from the bottom of a large animal’s femur, eg from an elephant. He thought actually it was most likely from a giant.
In 1763, the natural historian Richard Brookes examined the findings and called it scrotum humanum fossil. He thought it might be the fossilized testicles from a giant. The fossil was disappeared, but drawings indicated that it was resembling testicles due to the two bumps at the bottom of the shaft.
Name of the species
The dinosaurs got their scientific name for the first time in 1841. The group names were created for the 19th century discoveries of species as Megalosaurus and Iguanadon.
In 1871, the anatomist John Phillips suggested that the huge testicles from the quarry were most probably the bottom of a femur from a Megalosaurus.
Accordingly, the above-mentioned two bulges were not the remains of the genitals of a giant dinosaur, but instead a part of the knee joint of a dinosaur that lived maybe 150 million years ago.